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Branding Success: Guaranteed Engagement in The Sandboxby@0xjack
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Branding Success: Guaranteed Engagement in The Sandbox

by Jack LiuJune 14th, 2023
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he Sandbox Metaverse is a really interesting opportunity for branded activations and game experiences at the moment. In their last curated Alpha Season 3, each game experience received an average of 200k visits and 20 minutes of playtime. And the best game experience got close to 500k visits. The game experience by Ledger got on average 50 minutes of play time per user. We could like see even more players in Alpha Season 4.

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The Sandbox Metaverse is a really interesting opportunity for branded activations and game experiences at the moment.


In their last curated Alpha Season 3, each game experience received an average of 200k visits and 20 minutes of playtime. And the best game experience got close to 500k visits. The game experience by Ledger got on average 50 minutes of play time per user. We could like see even more players in Alpha Season 4.


The Sandbox Alpha Seasons 3 Top 10 Experiences


I don’t know of any other metaverses right now that can guarantee branded experiences as close to those numbers as The Sandbox.


As more and more game experiences are created in The Sandbox however, the bar to get featured for Alpha Season will get higher and higher. The games where it’s about exploring and collecting items won’t cut it because they’re not innovative and there’s too many of them.


The Game Maker software keeps improving so it makes sense for the publishing team to want to feature games that are using the latest features of the engine. Games that were showcased using features from older versions of Game Maker will probably not get the nod in the future.


Alpha Seasons Criteria

For consideration in Alpha Season, games must have a duration of 30-45 minutes during the initial play-through. This requirement is important to The Sandbox because they want players to fully experience each game.


A game experience within this timeframe strikes a balance; if it were too short, it would lack satisfaction, and if it were too long, players may not complete it.


Furthermore, longer playtimes encourage players to spend more time within the platform, increasing their likelihood of coming back. This duration criterion also serves as a means for Sandbox to control the quality and positioning of the games created.


They want to avoid hypercasual games that only last a few minutes, as such games are better suited for mobile. Instead, the play session length should align with the platform, favoring PC experiences.


So considering this 30-45 minute play session requirement, let’s look at some types of games that would work well in The Sandbox.


Paid Mobile Games

As mentioned earlier, hypercasual games don’t translate well to The Sandbox because each game play is really short.


Free to Play games don’t translate well either because there’s no definitive start and end. This might change in the future with more updates to The Sandbox platform.


Paid games like Monument Valley however, work really well. The average completion time for it is 1.5 hours.

Monument Valley Game Idea in The Sandbox


A game inspired by Monument Valley could be created specifically for The Sandbox with a condensed level structure that takes less time to complete, ensuring player satisfaction upon finishing. In fact, there is already a team working on a game of this nature for The Sandbox, which is highly anticipated.


There are hundreds of ideas. We can look through the current and past Top Paid Games charts for inspiration.

iOS Paid Game Ideas for The Sandbox

Steam Games

When it comes to Steam games, smaller indie titles that have a clear beginning and end can be intriguing additions to The Sandbox. The PC-based nature of the platform makes games like The Escapist an interesting prospect to explore and integrate into the ecosystem. We’re looking into how to create a Jail Break type of game like this for The Sandbox.


Older Console Games

Taking inspiration from older console games, such as those from the SNES and NES eras, can also be a great approach. These games often have simple gameplay mechanics but provide a high level of enjoyment. One example is this game below that looks to be inspired The Firemen game, showcasing how the nostalgic appeal of these titles, adapted for The Sandbox can thrive. The game was the top entry for a Game Jam.


Single Levels / Missions

Another intriguing concept is incorporating a single level or mission from a larger game into The Sandbox. For instance, rather than attempting to recreate a full-fledged real-time strategy game, such as Starcraft, which may not translate well for Alpha Seasons, focusing on an individual campaign or mission could work really well.


For The Walking Dead-themed game jam in The Sandbox, we re-imagined the nostalgic 20-minute survival campaign from Starcraft. In our adaptation, players had to defend their settlement against relentless hordes of walkers for 20 minutes. The goal was to survive long enough for a helicopter rescue. In essence, we created a real-time strategy game that had a definitive time limit.


Conclusion

In conclusion, The Sandbox’s Alpha Seasons offer a remarkable opportunity for brands to harness the immense potential of game experiences. The carefully curated 30-45 minute play session requirement serves as a catalyst for effective brand building and storytelling within the platform.


By striking a balance between satisfying gameplay and ensuring completion rates, brands can craft immersive experiences that captivate players and leave a lasting impression. Whether through paid mobile games, indie Steam titles, nostalgic console-inspired creations, or innovative adaptations of existing campaigns, brands can leverage The Sandbox Metaverse to unlock their creative potential and forge deep connections with their audience through the power of interactive storytelling.


Also published here.